Thursday, August 30, 2012

Beat the Heat With A Good Book

Kill You Twice by Chelsea Cain 
Gretchen Lowell Series #5

Nothing makes Portland detective Archie Sheridan happier than knowing that Gretchen Lowell—the serial killer whose stunning beauty is belied by the gruesome murders she’s committed—is locked away in a psych ward. Archie can finally heal from the near-fatal physical and emotional wounds she’s inflicted on him and start moving on with his life.

To this end, Archie throws himself into the latest case to come across his desk: A cyclist has discovered a corpse in Mount Tabor Park on the eastern side of Portland. The man was gagged, skinned, and found hanging by his wrists from a tree. It’s the work of a killer bold and clever enough to torture his victim for hours on a sunny summer morning in a big public park and yet leave no trace.

And then Archie gets a message he can’t ignore—Gretchen claims to have inside knowledge about this grisly murder. Archie finally agrees to visit Gretchen, because he can’t risk losing his only lead in the case. At least, that’s what he tells himself . . . but the ties between Archie and Gretchen have always been stronger, deeper, and more complex than he’s willing to admit, even to himself. What game is she playing this time? And even more frightening, what long-hidden secrets from Gretchen’s past have been dredged up that someone would kill to protect?
 


The Innocent by David Baldacci

America has enemies--ruthless people that the police, the FBI, even the military can't stop. That's when the U.S. government calls on Will Robie, a stone cold hitman who never questions orders and always nails his target. 

But Will Robie may have just made the first--and last--mistake of his career . . . THE INNOCENT


It begins with a hit gone wrong. Robie is dispatched to eliminate a target unusually close to home in Washington, D.C. But something about this mission doesn't seem right to Robie, and he does the unthinkable. He refuses to kill. Now, Robie becomes a target himself and must escape from his own people.


Fleeing the scene, Robie crosses paths with a wayward teenage girl, a fourteen-year-old runaway from a foster home. But she isn't an ordinary runaway-her parents were murdered, and her own life is in danger. Against all of his professional habits, Robie rescues her and finds he can't walk away. He needs to help her.


Even worse, the more Robie learns about the girl, the more he's convinced she is at the center of a vast cover-up, one that may explain her parents' deaths and stretch to unimaginable levels of power. 


Now, Robie may have to step out of the shadows in order to save this girl's life . . . and perhaps his own.


When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison

As far as Gemma is concerned, her days of dating are over. In fact, it’s her job to cater other peoples’ dates, and that’s just fine by her. At thirty-seven, she has her own business, working as a private chef, and her life feels full and secure. She’s got six steady clients that keep her hands full.

There’s Lex, the fussy but fabulous department store owner who loves Oysters Rockefeller and 1950s comfort food; Willa, who needs to lose weight under doctor’s orders but still believes butter makes everything better; a colorful family who may or may not be part of the Russian mob; an ├╝berwealthy Georgetown family; the picture-perfect Van Houghtens, whose matriarch is “allergic to everything”; and finally, a man she calls “Mr. Tuesday,” whom she has never met but who she is strangely drawn to.

For Gemma, cooking is predictable. Recipes are certain. Use good ingredients, follow the directions, and you are assured success. Life, on the other hand, is full of variables. So when Gemma’s takes an unexpected turn on a road she always thought was straight and narrow, she must face her past and move on in ways she never would have imagined. Because sometimes in life, all you need is a little hope, a lot of courage, and---oh yes---butter.


No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie
Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #14

When a K9 search-and-rescue team discovers a woman's body tangled up with debris in the river, Scotland Yard superintendent Duncan Kincaid finds himself heading an investigation fraught with complications. The victim, Rebecca Meredith, was a talented but difficult woman with many admirers—and just as many enemies. An Olympic contender on the verge of a controversial comeback, she was also a high-ranking detective with the Met—a fact that raises a host of political and ethical issues in an already sensitive case.

To further complicate the situation, a separate investigation, led by Detective Inspector Gemma James, Kincaid's wife, soon reveals a disturbing—and possibly related—series of crimes, widening the field of suspects. But when someone tries to kill the search-and-rescue team member who found Rebecca's body, the case becomes even more complex and dangerous, involving powerful interests with tentacles that reach deep into the heart of the Met itself.

Surrounded by enemies with friendly faces, pressured to find answers quickly while protecting the Yard at all costs, his career and reputation on the line, Kincaid must race to catch the killer before more innocent lives are lost—including his own.


Trickster's Point by William Kent Krueger 
Cor O'Connor Series #12
 
The dying don’t easily become the dead. The next novel in William Kent Krueger’s New York Times bestselling series finds Cork O’Connor sitting in the shadow of a towering monolith known as Trickster’s Point, deep in the Minnesota wilderness. With him is Jubal Little, who is favored to become the first Native American elected governor of Minnesota, and who is slowly dying with an arrow through his heart. 

Although the men have been bowhunting, a long-standing tradition among these two friends, this is no hunting accident. The arrow turns out to be one of Cork’s, and he becomes the primary suspect in the murder. He understands full well that he’s been set up. As he works to clear his name and track the real killer, he remembers his long, complex relationship with the tough kid who would grow up to become a professional football player, a populist politician, and the lover of the first woman to whom Cork ever gave his heart. Jubal was known by many for his passion, his loyalty, and his ambition. 

Only Cork knows that he was capable of murder.

11th Hour by James Patterson
Women's Murder Club Series #11

Your best friend
Lindsay Boxer is pregnant at last But her work doesn't slow for a second. When millionaire Chaz Smith is mercilessly gunned down, she discovers that the murder weapon is linked to the deaths of four of San Francisco's most untouchable criminals. And it was taken from her own department's evidence locker. Anyone could be the killer--even her closest friends. 


Or a vicious killer? 


Lindsay is called next to the most bizarre crime scene she's ever seen: two bodiless heads elaborately displayed in the garden of a world-famous actor. Another head is unearthed in the garden, and Lindsay realizes that the ground could hide hundreds of victims. 


You won't know until the 11th hour 


A reporter launches a series of vicious articles about the cases and Lindsay's personal life is laid bare. But this time she has no one to turn to--especially not Joe. 


The Seamstress by Frances De Pontes Peebles


As seamstresses, the young sisters Emilia and Luzia dos Santos know how to cut, how to mend, and how to conceal. These are useful skills in the lawless backcountry of Brazil, where ruthless land barons called "colonels" feud with bands of outlaw cangaceiros, trapping innocent residents in the cross fire. 

Emilia, whose knowledge of the world comes from fashion magazines and romance novels, dreams of falling in love with a gentleman and escaping to a big city. 

Luzia also longs to escape their little town, where residents view her with suspicion and pity. Scarred by a childhood accident that left her with a deformed arm, the quick-tempered Luzia finds her escape in sewing and in secret prayers to the saints she believes once saved her life.
But when Luzia is abducted by a group of cangaceiros led by the infamous Hawk, the sisters' quiet lives diverge in ways they never imagined. Emilia stumbles into marriage with Degas Coelho, the son of a doctor whose wealth is rivaled only by his political power. 

She moves to the sprawling seaside city of Recife, where the glamour of her new life is soon overshadowed by heartache and loneliness. Luzia, forced to trek through scrubland and endure a nomadic existence, proves her determination to survive and begins to see the cangaceiros as comrades, not criminals. 

In Recife, Emilia must hide any connection to her increasingly notorious sister. As she learns to navigate the treacherous waters of Brazilian high society, Emilia sees the country split apart after a bitter presidential election. Political feuds extend to the countryside, where Luzia and the Hawk are forced to make unexpected alliances and endure betrayals that threaten to break the cangaceiros apart. But Luzia will overcome time and distance to entrust her sister with a great secret--one Emilia vows to keep. And when Luzia's life is threatened, EmIlia will risk everything to save her.


Judgment Call by J.A. Jance 
Joanna Brady Series #15

When Joanna Brady's daughter, Jenny, stumbles across the body of her high school principal, Debra Highsmith, in the desert, the Cochise County sheriff's personal and professional worlds collide, forcing her to tread the difficult middle ground between being an officer of the law and a mother. While investigating murders has always meant discovering unpleasant facts and disquieting truths, the experienced Joanna isn't prepared for the knowledge she's about to uncover. Though she's tried to protect her children from the dangers of the grown-up world, the search for justice leads straight to her own door and forces her to face the possibility that her beloved daughter may be less perfect than she seems--especially when a photo from the crime scene ends up on Facebook. A photo only one person close to the crime scene could have taken.

The gruesome picture is just the tip of the iceberg. Even a small, close-knit town like Bisbee has its secrets. Navigating her way through the unfamiliar world of social media, Joanna discovers shocking--and incriminating--information. The details build, from a hushed-up suspension, to a group of teenagers with a grudge against the late Ms. Highsmith, to a hateful video calling for the principal's death. The video evidence points to one particular privileged boy, who's already lawyered up thanks to his father, a well-to-do doctor determined to protect his son's reputation. Yet the deeper Joanna digs, the more complications she uncovers. It seems the quiet, upstanding principal had a hidden past, full of mysterious secrets she'd successfully kept buried for years.

As the seasoned sheriff juggles professional constraints and personal demands--budget cuts, new team members, an arrogant coroner, a confused teenager, a precocious toddler, and a high-maintenance mother--she finds herself walking a fine line between justice and family that has never been so blurred.


Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz 
Odd Thomas Series #5

The stallion reared over me, silently slashing the air with the hooves of its forelegs, a creature of such immense power that I stumbled backward even though I knew that it was as immaterial as a dream. . . 

The woman astride the ghostly mount reaches out desperately, the latest spirit to enlist the aid of Odd Thomas, the unassuming young fry cook whose gift—or curse—it is to see the shades of the restless dead, and to help them when he can. This mission of mercy will lead Odd through realms of darkness he has never before encountered, as he probes the long-held secrets of a sinister estate and those who inhabit it.

ODD APOCALYPSE

Once presided over by a flamboyant Hollywood mogul during the Roaring ’20s, the magnificent West Coast property known as Roseland is now home to a reclusive billionaire financier and his faithful servants. And, at least for the moment, it’s also a port in the storm for Odd Thomas and his traveling companion, the inscrutably charming Annamaria, the Lady of the Bell. In the wake of Odd’s most recent clash with lethal adversaries, the opulent manor’s comforts should be welcome. But there’s far more to Roseland than meets even the extraordinary eye of Odd, who soon suspects it may be more hell than haven.

A harrowing taste of Roseland’s terrors convinces Odd that it’s time to hit the road again. Still, the prescient Annamaria insists that they’ve been led there for a reason, and he’s promised to do his best for the ghost on horseback. Just how deep and dreadful are the mysteries Roseland and her masters have kept for nearly a century? And what consequences await whoever is brave, or mad, enough to confront the most profound breed of evil? Odd only knows. Like his acclaimed creator, the irresistible Odd Thomas is in top-notch form—as he takes on what may well be the most terrifying challenge yet in his curious career.
 


Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
All Souls Trilogy #2

Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.

Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.

 
Time Untime by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Darh-Hunter Series #17; Hellchaser #5

The Mayans aren’t the only ones with a 2012 prophecy…

Long before recorded history, there was a Keetoowah warrior so feared that everyone trembled before his wrath. Only a brutal betrayal by the one closest to him could defeat him. But not even death was the end of a man so strong.

The Time Untime approaches…

Kateri Avani has been plagued her entire life with dreams she doesn’t understand. Images of places she’s never been and of a man she’s never seen. Her quest for answers has driven her to Las Vegas where she hopes to finally silence the demons in her mind.

What she never anticipates is coming face to face with the warrior who has haunted her her entire life. One who belongs to a world the scientist in her refuses to believe is real.

Ren Waya came back from the dead to keep the prophecy he began from coming true and ending the world. For thousands of years, he has fought the same evil that once possessed him. But now that evil has found the one person he can’t fight. The one person who, against his will, holds the most sacred part of him.

His heart.

But if he doesn’t kill Kateri, the deadliest of evils will reemerge and destroy everyone else on the planet. It was a sacrifice he made once.

Will he be able to make it again?



Over the Edge by Mary Connealy 
Kincaid Brides Series #3

Seth Kincaid survived a fire in a cave, but he's never been the same. He was always a reckless youth, but now he's gone over the edge. He ran off to the Civil War and came back crazier than ever. 

After the war, nearly dead from his injuries, it appears Seth got married. Oh, he's got a lot of excuses, but his wife isn't happy to find out Seth doesn't remember her. Callie has searched, prayed, and worried. Now she's come to the Kincaid family's ranch in Colorado to find her lost husband. 


Callie isn't a long-suffering woman. Once she knows her husband is alive, she wants to kill him. She's not even close to forgiving him for abandoning her. 


Then more trouble shows up in the form of a secret Seth's pa kept for years. The Kincaid brothers might lose their ranch if they can't sort things out. It's enough to drive a man insane--but somehow it's all making Seth see things more clearly. And now that he knows what he wants, no one better stand in his way.


A Soft Place to Land by Susan Rebecca White

For more than ten years, Naomi and Phil Harrison enjoyed a marriage of heady romance, tempered only by the needs of their children. But on a vacation alone, the couple perishes in a flight over the Grand Canyon. After the funeral, their daughters, Ruthie and Julia, are shocked by the provisions in their will. 


Spanning nearly two decades, the sisters' journeys take them from their familiar home in Atlanta to sophisticated bohemian San Francisco, a mountain town in Virginia, the campus of Berkeley, and lofts in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. As they heal from loss, search for love, and begin careers, their sisterhood, once an oasis, becomes complicated by resentment, anger, and jealousy. It seems as though the echoes of their parents' deaths will never stop reverberating--until another shocking accident changes everything once again.


Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong 
Otherworld Series #13

War is coming to the Otherworld. A sinister cult known as The Supernatural Liberation Movement is hell-bent on exposing the truth about supernaturals to the rest of the world. Their violent, ruthless plan has put everyone at risk: from werewolves to vampires, from witches to half-demons.

Savannah Levine - fiery and unpredictable - stands at the heart of the maelstrom. There is a new, dark magic inside her, granting her the power to summon spells of terrifying strength. But whether this magic is a gift or a curse, no one knows.

On the eve of battle, all the major players must come together in a last, desperate fight for survival - Elena and Clay; Adam and Savannah; Paige and Lucas; Jeremy and Jaime; Hope, Eve and more...They are fighting for lives.

They are fighting for their loved ones.

They are fighting for the Otherworld.



Some Like it Hawk by Donna Andrews 
Meg Langslow Mystery Series #14

Meg Langslow is plying her blacksmith's trade at “Caerphilly Days,” a festival inspired by her town’s sudden notoriety as "The Town That Mortgaged Its Jail." The lender has foreclosed on all Caerphilly's public buildings, and all employees have evacuated —except one.  Phineas Throckmorton, the town clerk, has been barricaded in the courthouse basement for over a year.

Mr. Throckmorton's long siege has only been possible because of a pre-Civil War tunnel leading from the courthouse basement to a crawl space beneath the bandstand. The real reason for Caerphilly Days is to conceal the existence of the tunnel:  the tourist crowds camouflage supply deliveries, and the ghastly screeching of the tunnel's rusty trap door is drowned out by as many noisy activities as the locals can arrange. But the lender seems increasingly determined to evict Mr. Throckmorton—and may succeed after one of its executives is found shot, apparently from inside the basement.  Meg and her fellow townspeople suspect that someone hopes to end the siege by framing Mr. Throckmorton. 


Unless the real killer can be found quickly, the town will have to reveal the secret of the tunnel—and the fact that they've been aiding and abetting the basement’s inhabitant. Meg soon deduces that the killer isn't just trying to end the siege but to conceal information that would help the town reclaim its buildings--if the townspeople can find it before the lender destroys it in a gut-busting caper that will have giggles and guffaws coming as fast as a four-alarm fire.